Timo Glock has left Marussia, and probably Formula One altogether, after 91 starts at the pinnacle of the sport, as the back marker team is seeking a second pay driver to partner Max Chilton as they attempt to bolster funds for their 2013 campaign.
After leaving Toyota in the wake of the Japanese giant’s F1 exit, the now 30-year-old German has been Marussia’s lead driver since the former Virgin Racing Team’s 2010 inception.
Glock said in a statement released by Marussia, “I have had three great years with the team. We [part] amicably. Now I want to meet new challenges and continue my path in motor sport.”
He added. “I had the chance to actively participate in building and developing the team in its endeavours to succeed within the F1 World Championship. I would like to wish the team good luck in navigating this next period and thank everyone for the great times we shared and the support I have received. Although it is not the path I expected to be taking, I am in fact very excited about what the future holds in terms of my own career and I hope to comment on that very soon.”
The reason for Glock’s split is almost certainly financial, with the well-funded British rookie Max Chilton already signed up to drive one of the cars in 2013. Bild newspaper reports that Marussia “desperately needs money”, meaning Glock’s cockpit “must be sold to a pay-driver”.
That report said that the replacement for Glock, who earned about € 2 million per season, will have to pay “at least five million” to be Chilton’s new teammate.
Marussia team principal John Booth commented, “Timo has made a very significant contribution to our team over the past three seasons, helping us to develop our package to the point where, for a large proportion of the 2012 season, we were holding 10th place in the constructors’ championship. Timo is a fantastic driver and he has been a very popular member of the team.
“Our team was founded on the principle of benefiting from proven experience whilst also providing opportunities for young emerging talent to progress to the pinnacle of motorsport. Thus far, this philosophy has also been reflected in our commercial model. The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future,” said Booth.
“Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, F1 teams included. We would like to thank Timo for working with us to reach this decision, especially as he had a valid contract, and also for the contribution he has made to our team. We wish him all the best for his future and I would like to congratulate the next team acquiring the services of such a competitive, professional and experienced racer. We will provide an update regarding the completion of our driver line-up in due course,” concluded Booth’s statement.
Britain’s Telegraph newspaper mentioned Vitaly Petrov or Sebastien Buemi as potential candidates. And Belgium’s RTL named Jerome d’Ambrosio, the Eric Boullier-managed 2012 Lotus reserve who in 2011 was Glock’s teammate at Virgin, as a possibility.
Swiss newspaper Blick wrote: “The biggest mystery is what Glock will do now? Is he suddenly on Force India’s list?”
Glock’s F1 colleagues have shown sympathy for the German’s plight on Twitter during the course of the day:
Sergio Perez: “Mate big shame to hear the news!! We will miss you specially at the drivers dinner! I’m sure you will be back soon @realTimoGlock”
Jenson Button: “It’s a Shame to see that @realTimoGlock is off the F1 grid for ’13. No way that’ll be the last we see of him…”
Max Chilton: “Further to the Team’s statement today, on a personal note I’d like to wish @realTimoGlock the very best for the future.”
Paul di Resta: “Bad news to see @realTimoGlock leave Marussia. Wishing him the best going forward.”
Mark Webber: “@realTimoGlock you’ll be missed matey on the drivers parade and drivers meetings chats. One of the good guys, and never went to your head. enjoy the next challenge, be great to see you in a competitive car again. All the best buddy.”
Auto Motor und Sport said that he is in the running to race for BMW in Germany’s premier touring car championship DTM in 2013. BMW-contracted driver Dirk Muller said to Glock on Twitter late on Sunday: “Many congrats and welcome in the club”.